Coming off his best year ever, including winning a Major League Baseball (MLB) Gold Glove, 28-year-old San Diego Padres pitcher Ha-Sung Kim has opened up about the trade speculation surrounding him.
Kim, who signed a four-year, $28 million guaranteed contract with San Diego in 2021, played his third season this year. After next season, he will be eligible for free agency and hit the market.
He can exercise his option for a one-year extension with the club, but it’s unlikely that he’ll do so now that he’s established himself as a top-tier center fielder in the big leagues.
Kim had a career-high season this year in his third year in the big leagues. He overcame the adversity of having to move positions due to the acquisition of Xander Bogaerts to put up his best numbers in his MLB debut.
His solid play at second, third, and shortstop culminated in a spectacular finale as he was named the Gold Glove Utility Player of the Year, an award given to the “best all-around defender”.
Now, if he has a good season next year, he can hit the free agent market with even more value.
At the official press conference held at Hotel Rivera Cheongdam in Seoul on the 20th, Kim Ha-soo said, “There hasn’t been an unimportant season since entering the U.S. However, next year is the season before free agency, so I will do my best without getting injured.”
However, regardless of Kim’s determination, ‘trade theories’ are constantly appearing in the US.
San Diego recently failed to win the World Series despite investing an astronomical amount of money in superstars. This season, they finished third in the National League West with an 82-80 record and didn’t even make the postseason. They barely missed the .500 mark.
If San Diego decides to “rebuild” starting next season, they could sell Kim, whose value has increased, on the trade market in exchange for prospects.
Even if they don’t rebuild, there are those who believe that Kim should be used to fill a position of need. Some local media outlets have even suggested that the team should trade him.
“At first, I was very stressed, but now I don’t care at all,” Kim said.
“Being traded means that another team needs me, and I don’t care which team, as long as I’m guaranteed playing time,” he said, adding, “I still like San Diego.” He also expressed his affection for his team 아톰카지노.